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Crimson Quarterly is a publication of University of Oklahoma Student Media. Nick Jungman, director of Student Media, authorized printing of 1,000 copies by University Printing Services at no cost to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma.
Enterprise/Features Managing Editor
News Editor Beth Wallis
Faculty, staff & finances Isolation housing COVID-19 infrastructure
Visual Editor Trey Young
Copy Manager Donna Edwards
Copy Chiefs Francisco Gutierrez Halea Timmons
Art Director Megan Foisy
Senior Designers Graham Buchanan Rachel Lobaugh
editor’s note: For six months, the OU community, along with the rest of the world, has felt confusion and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be equated to a living nightmare — people are sick and dying due to a new illness that has spread at an excessive rate. During a time like this, the only antidote to that confusion and anxiety is to get answers. The Daily has been asking the university questions related to COVID-19 since the pandemic first made waves in March, and while we’ve done our best to communicate those answers to our audience as much as possible, they are spread upon multiple stories over multiple months. This is not a typical Crimson Quarterly edition or story, but during a time when we all need answers, we decided to make this edition a resource for the OU community. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time in the history of the university and the world, and because of that, we want to share all the information we have. The entirety of this edition contains answers to all the questions asked of the university, sorted by date and topic. While we wish we could publish everything The Daily has asked the university since March, due to limited space in the magazine, we are including what we have asked from July 24 to Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. In an effort of transparency, questions and answers have been left unedited, but occasional words have been inserted in brackets for clarity. Questions are in bold, and responses were made by OU Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith the same day the question was asked unless otherwise specified. Context has been added to some questions in italics.
COVID-19 spread: July 24: Currently, how many contact tracers are employed at OU and how many are being hired for the fall (if any more are being hired)? Goddard Health Center is working with the Cleveland County Health Department to trace contacts of positive cases who are affiliated with the University. Goddard contact tracers will notify individuals who are considered a direct contact of a positive case. Currently, Goddard has appropriate staffing to manage the caseload on campus. The number of tracers needed in the future will vary considerably due to the number of new cases and the average number of contacts per case. Data from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and benchmarking studies from the American College Health Association (ACHA) have been used to estimate the number of tracers needed for the campus population. July 24: Given that a saliva test is 87 percent accurate, what else is the university doing to mitigate false negatives? No test is 100% accurate. However, the company administering the testing, Vault Health, is a reputable testing company with a history of producing reliable results. Additionally, a representative appointed by Vault Health will walk
all housing students through the test via Zoom to ensure they’re administered accurately. Students who test will still be required to complete all three steps, including completion of a health screening. July 24: How do administrators hope to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, since the university doesn’t currently plan to provide testing to students living off-campus, but those students will be interacting with students that live on campus? The most effective mitigation strategies available at this time are to have everyone wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing. It is likely that some students, staff, or faculty could get infected with this virus in the community so we put those mitigation strategies into place to prevent on-campus spread of the virus. July 24: How reliable are (at-home COVID-19) test results, as students can test negative and then contract COVID-19 the next day? There are no perfect tests for COVID-19. If done too early after exposure to the infection, they can be falsely negative, and yes, a student can do the test and subsequently be exposed or infected. We are specifically asking all students to self-isolate after they do the test and until they arrive on campus to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. (Please obtain scientific test details from Vault Health). July 24: How will the university mitigate
COVID-19 spread from students who choose to frequent bars, parties and other off-campus social activities? We will be educating the students on their personal responsibility to prevent spread of this disease. And while it is not the responsibility of the university to dictate the behaviors of students when off campus, we have put into place the mitigation strategies (universal mask wearing and physical distancing) to prevent spread of the virus on our campuses. July 24: In the OU Norman Campus COVID-19 Contact Tracing Definition portion of OU’s website, it says that “OU will continue to investigate, evaluate and deploy technologies which may support and enhance contact tracing, including but not limited to data management software, Wi-Fi tracking, and mobile phone applications aimed at automating parts of the contact tracing process as they become available.” Are there any updates regarding OU’s plans to utilize these forms of technology or any technology beyond what is listed for online screening? The University is continuing to explore best practices for appropriate contact tracing. July 24: In previous reopening phases, the University hasn’t had access to testing results. Will they have access to the testing results of this third phase, as students begin to move onto campus? The testing company contracted by the University to perform tests has agreed to provide test results to the student and OU Health Services. The University will only receive the COVID test results and use them for determining whether the student is eligible to move into the residence halls. July 24: Is OU concerned about virus spread from the commuter community, who regularly travel from hours away on a daily basis? What is OU doing to combat this? We have put into place the mitigation strategies (universal mask wearing and physical distancing) that have been shown to prevent spread of the virus while the students are on campus. July 24: What about off-campus residents? Will they be required to receive testing? Are there plans in the works for providing these students with access to free testing? Students living off-campus will not be required to test, however are required to complete the University’s COVID-19 Screening and Reporting form. OU faculty, staff and students can contact Goddard for testing information. July 24: What data is being used to decide the number of tracers OU will require to maintain a safe environment? Data from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and benchmarking studies from the American College Health Association (ACHA) have been used to estimate the number of tracers needed for the campus population. July 24: What will the jobs of these tracers be on-campus?
Goddard contact tracers will notify individuals who are considered a direct contact of a positive case. July 24: Will all faculty be required to receive testing?
How are you feeling about starting the fall semester?
Faculty are not required to test, but will be required to complete the University’s COVID-19 Screening and Reporting form. July 24: Will the university report testing results, apart from individually identifying info? The testing company hired by the University is required to report test results as required by local and state health departments. The University will use test results to determine move-in eligibility. July 24: Dr. Bratzler [OU’s chief COVID-19 officer] has mentioned that OU will be collaborating with the city of Norman to promote safe behavior on and off-campus for students. What plans are in the works in that regard? OU has a mandatory mask policy in all university facilities, and the City of Norman recently passed a mandatory mask policy that will apply in all off-campus activities in the City. We will be providing student training on the known risks for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and making sure they are aware of the settings where transmission of the virus has been most common.
• • • •
“I can’t wait to be back on campus!” - 1511 “I feel a bit uneasy, but mostly excited.” - 1455 “I have some concerns I would like to address.” - 520 “I want to continue OU courses, but I do not feel comfortable returning to campus right now.” - 1215 • “I don’t plan to return to OU.” - 26 • Total: 4727
July 24: How will the university pay for mandatory testing before students move into oncampus housing?
For my fall class schedule, I would prefer:
The OU Housing budget is covering the cost of testing. July 25: I was wondering if you could share the results of the survey students/faculty were asked to fill out a few weeks ago? The survey was used to determine preferences for course mode of delivery and the excitement of student returning to campus. The information received helped the University develop instructional plans and make final adjustments to student schedules. While COVID-19 creates a unique challenge to our fall plans, we are committed to upholding our academic mission in the safest manner possible and we are making every effort to do so. Please visit, ou.edu/ together for the latest information about our return to campus. The breakdown of the 4,724 responses provided in this answer is shown to the right. July 30: How is the university able to keep track of positive-testing individuals on campus? How will the university know how many cases it has to make informed decisions? Goddard Health Center works with the Cleveland County Health Department to trace contacts of positive cases who are affiliated with the University. This ongoing working relationship, along with the numbers collected by Cleveland County Health Department, and the University’s COVID-19 Screening and Reporting form will allow the University to make informed decisions.
• • • • •
“All my classes online” - 1158 “Most of my classes online and a few classes in person” - 950 “A few of my classes online and most classes in person” - 1174 “All my classes in person” - 1209 Total - 4491
OU Daily student survey results July 29.
GRAPHIC BY MEGAN FOISY/THE DAILY
Aug. 14: Can we get the positive/negative numbers for the at-home COVID tests the university sent out? Answer provided Aug. 15: OU Housing is planning on releasing information late next week. Aug. 17: Were students notified of their (COVID-19) results before moving in? Yes, students, OU Housing and Goddard Health Center were notified of results prior to moving into their assigned housing. All three steps of the Move-In process must be completed for students to move into OU Housing. Students who fail to complete the required process will be scheduled for a later move-in date. • Complete an at-home COVID-19 test. OU has partnered with Vault Health to mail students an at-home saliva based COVID-19 test to complete in advance of their arrival to campus. Students received an email during the week of July 20 with full details and instructions on how to receive and submit their COVID-19 test during OU’s two-day testing window of August 4-5 for the Residence Halls and the Residential Colleges and August 10-11 for Traditions Square. Once students registered, testing kits were mailed and students administered home test(s) at no cost to students. • Receive a negative COVID-19 test result. Test results are emailed to students and to OU Health Services up to four days after their test arrives at the Vault Health lab. • Complete the University’s online health screening five days prior to their return to campus. Students must complete this step regardless of their COVID-19 test result. Due to a number of circumstances, students who hadn’t received results were put in direct contact with OU Housing and worked with their local healthcare provider or Goddard Health Center to receive a polymerase chain reaction test. Once a negative result was submitted to Goddard Health Center, students were cleared to move into assigned housing. Aug. 19: Can you tell me why OU isn’t tracking positive COVID-19 cases among community members or making that information public like many other universities are? The university is exploring best practices for tracking and reporting COVID-19 cases. Aug. 21: What’s on the COVID dashboard? The dashboard is still under development and is slated to launch near the end of next week. Aug. 21: Recently White House reports and recommendations have been leaked in some news outlets. In one of them, Deborah Birx, one of the White House’s leading experts on the coronavirus pandemic, noted that universities which are re-opening should have some kind of contingency for “surge testing” as the semester begins. Does the university have a process in place to complement its entry testing with surge testing in the event students begin testing positive? The university offers free testing for all students, staff and faculty through Goddard Health Center. Any OU community member experiencing
symptoms or who has reason to suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to get tested. Goddard Health provides contact tracing on campus and administers PCR testing for anyone who is a direct contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19. To schedule a curbside test, OU community members should call (405) 325-4441. OU is exploring possible surveillance testing on campus; however, no decisions have been made. Aug. 21: Those [leaked White House] reports also note some states as “red zones” for COVID-19 status. Oklahoma is one of those states. Was the university aware of this, and if so, did it play into the decision over the summer to return in-person this fall? The university’s Chief COVID Officer, Dr. Bratzler, and other health leaders at OU [Health Sciences Center] routinely review several reports related to COVID-19 activity in Oklahoma. Over the past three weeks, the seven-day rolling average of new cases in Oklahoma has decreased, and the percent of positive tests has plateaued with the last two weeks at less than 10 percent. This is a metric that the university is closely watching along with case counts across the state, in Cleveland County and in the zip codes around the university. Aug. 24: I’m reaching out to try and confirm a question we’ve been seeing about how OU student COVID-19 cases will be counted in Health Department data. Some people have heard that if an OU student tests positive for COVID-19 during the semester, it will be counted as a positive case in their home county rather than in Cleveland County. I was wondering if there’s any way you can confirm this, or let me know who might be able to confirm this? I’m attaching a screenshot for reference. Answer provided Aug. 25: OU students who receive a positive test from Goddard Health are tracked according to their provided address. Students living in OU Housing and those who reside in Cleveland County are reported through the Cleveland County Health Department, if those individuals provide their OU Housing or Cleveland County address. If a student’s provided address is outside of Cleveland County, the data is tracked in their respective county health departments. Goddard staff encourages local addresses to be used to ensure medical communications go directly to the patient and for proper tracking and reporting. No positive cases through Goddard have been tracked out of state. Aug. 26: Do you have a number on how many positive cases through Goddard have been tracked in counties other than Cleveland County vs. how many have been tracked in Cleveland County? I was just told by my contact at the state health department that OSU’s COVID-19 testing is counting all its student positive cases in Payne County, even if the student lists a different address, due to Payne County officials expressing that they would like OSU students to be counted in Payne County. Is this something Cleveland County officials have expressed interest in OU doing, or has it been discussed/considered at all by OU officials? Answer provided Aug. 27: If I am understanding you correctly, you are asking if Goddard positive results are being tracked in other counties outside of Cleveland County?
This is a question that will need to be clarified through the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Goddard reports positive cases to OSDH and the State Health Department tracks positive cases by the address provided. Goddard Health Services works under the guidance of the Cleveland County Health Department for contact tracing. _____________________________________________
COVID-19 screening: Aug. 27: How does OU plan to enforce honest use of the COVID Screening and Reporting Tool? The screening tool is voluntary for those who are not directed to fill it out as a condition for campus access, clearance or some other action requested by the university. Under current university policy, students, faculty and staff who plan to return to campus must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool each time any of the following applies: 1. Absence from Campus – Employees and students who have been away from campus for any reason for seven consecutive calendar days or more must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. 2. Travel – Employees and students who have traveled domestically or internationally must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool unless the traveler qualifies for the Commuter Process. Domestic travel is defined as travel outside the State of Oklahoma. 3. Close Contact – Employees and students who have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. 4. Experiencing Symptoms – Employees and students experiencing symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell and/or extreme fatigue, must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. They should also contact their health care provider regarding specific symptoms. 5. Positive Test – Employees and students who test positive for COVID-19 may not return to campus until they have been cleared by Goddard Health Center to return. 6. Positive Household Member – Employees and students with a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. The university urges all community members who plan to be on campus to take personal responsibility in adhering to OU’s COVID-19 protocols, which include the screening tool. Completion is a requirement as it relates to a condition for access, clearance or some other action requested by the university.
Aug. 27: Is filling out the screening tool based solely on the honor system? Yes. The university urges all community members who plan to be on campus to take personal responsibility in adhering to OU’s COVID-19 protocols, which include the screening tool. Completion is a requirement as it relates to a condition for access, clearance or some other action requested by the university. Aug. 27: How many people, so far, have filled out the screening tool? As of Aug. 25, 2020, 5,131 have filled out the form in the last 30 days. Aug. 27: What exactly is the policy for classrooms that are overcrowded and being provided safety glasses/goggles to make up for that? I have had several students contact me saying there are classrooms where there are too many students, making it impossible to properly distance them, but that they were provided eye protection to make up for it. I had not seen this as an official university plan/ policy so I wanted to double check. Through the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan, OU’s goal is to provide in-person instruction to the greatest extent practical while promoting a safe and secure campus environment. Some courses are allowed to increase the number of students based on space of classrooms and location (i.e. isolated from main campus or in low traffic areas). These few approved courses are also required to implement additional cleaning protocols. Instructors may have students work in small groups as long as social distancing and masking are observed. If social distancing cannot be maintained, then the faculty should replace activities or move those activities to a blended course that allows for in-person instruction and online collaboration in small groups. Aug. 27: Is there a plan or policy for group work and collaboration for in-person classes? I have also had students describe small groups working in very close proximity in in-person classes to complete group work. Some courses (i.e. STEM labs for instance) call for additional safety protocols. These courses are required to have a hand washing or glove protocol, eye protection and other PPE, in addition to required masking. A limited number of laboratory courses were allowed to continue with social distancing at less than 6 feet with implementation of the additional safety protocols. Aug. 28: As of August 28, 2020, has this [COVID-19 noncompliance incident reporting] form been sent out to all students? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Derrick Dixon, assistant dean of students and director of the office of student conduct: a. The incident reporting form that is shared under the COVID 19 resources link on our page is our General Incident Reporting form for student-related behavior, not a COVID reporting tool. The Office of Student Conduct utilizes Maxient, which is an online student conduct management software. Through the general incident reporting form, OU community members (faculty, staff, and students) can submit reports that may
constitute a violation of university policy (i.e. alcohol, drugs, threatening behavior, theft, mandatory masking, etc.). Consequently, as with any university policy, whenever OU community members (faculty, staff, and students) believe that they have information that supports a student potentially violating university policy, they should utilize this reporting form to submit that information to the Office of Student Conduct. Once that information is submitted, the Office of Student Conduct will evaluate the information to determine if and how we should proceed. b. What this form is Not: i. This form is not a reporting mechanism for students who believe that they are experiencing COVID 19 related symptoms, ii. This form is not a reporting mechanism for individuals to report that they believe that someone else is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, iii. This form is not designed to keep statistical data for COVID 19 related cases within the University community. c. Any individual that is experiencing COVID 19 related symptoms, or who believes that another member of the OU community is experiencing COVID 19 related symptoms should contact the Goddard Health Center as soon as possible. Aug. 28: How do you determine if a student is responsible for the action(s) being reported about them [in OU’s noncompliance reporting form]? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Dixon: a. Student conduct may initiate the conduct process based on information received from any source (including the general incident reporting form outlined above), including but not limited to an individual, a university official, or a law enforcement agency. b. A conduct officer reviews the information and determines whether the allegations fall within the jurisdiction of the code of conduct c. If the behavior falls within the jurisdiction of the code of conduct, the conduct officer initiates conduct proceedings by sending a student conduct notice to the student’s official university email account.
have any questions regarding the process answered. f.
The Conduct Officer will review all information during the mandatory meeting and determine whether the student’s behavior constitutes a violation of the code. This determination is made utilizing the Preponderance of the Evidence standard of proof or more likely than not. This burden of proof is met when the conduct officer demonstrates that there is a greater than 50% chance that a policy violation has occurred i.
If the student has pending criminal charges, the case may be held in abeyance pending the outcome of court proceedings, except for conduct that causes immediate concern for the safety and/or well-being of those in the University community. ii. If a violation is supported, and the student accepts the decision, educational sanction(s) will be imposed per Section VII of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Code
g. If a student disagrees that a violation of the code exists, the student may request a hearing in writing within two (2) days of the mandatory meeting Aug. 28: What consequences are in place to occur if a student is deemed responsible for the actions reported on them [in OU’s noncompliance reporting form]? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Dixont: Students who accept or are determined responsible for violating the university code, are issued educational sanction(s). Educational sanction(s) are designed to best help the student learn from the demonstrated behavior outlined in the incident report. Educational sanction(s) can range from a written warning to expulsion from the institution; or anything in between that can best help facilitate learning for the student (community service, reflection papers, substance abuse education, etc.) Aug. 28: Are there consequences for larger organizations who aren’t following the rules [in accordance with OU’s noncompliance protocol]? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Dixon: a. Please refer to question 3 & 4 [previous two questions].
d. The charged student has five (5) class days from the date on the student conduct notice to schedule their mandatory meeting with the conduct officer.
b. Currently, the same process is applied to student organizations (as stated above this is not a COVID reporting tool).
i. Failure to respond to the Notice will result in a hold on the student’s enrollment and a default decision will be imposed.
Aug. 28: What happens if a false report is made (ie. someone saying something that didn’t happen or reporting something out of context) [in OU’s noncompliance reporting form]?
ii. Default decisions mean that the case will be resolved in the student’s absence utilizing only the information that has been collected in the incident report and subsequent investigation iii. By failing to respond, the student waives any right to further due process e. If the charged student attends the mandatory meeting, they will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, present any relevant information that they have, and
Answer provided Aug. 31 by Dixon: a. The Student Rights and Responsibilities Code states that “it is the responsibility of all students who are potential parties or witnesses to an alleged violation of the Code to participate in the conduct process. Students have a duty to cooperate and discuss the incident with appropriate University officials, adhere to stated deadlines, attend scheduled meetings, provide documentation as requested, and participate in all proceedings.”
b. Lying is not a behavior supported in the University community and can lead to additional Student Code charges and consequences for the offending student. c. Students who provide false or misleading information receive student conduct code charges. If the student is charged, the process outlined above will be initiated. Aug. 28: Is there anything else you’re able to add for the story [regarding OU’s noncompliance reporting form]? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Dixon: No. Sept. 1: Are some OU employers/professors requiring people to fill the screening out? If so, how are they keeping people from returning to class/workplace? Do they have the authority to keep people off of campus? Answer provided Sept. 3: The mandatory screening form is [a] required tool for community members and visitors directed to complete in order to come to campus. The university can keep individuals from returning to campus who are infected, or may be infected, until they meet certain requirements. The decision of who is cleared to return to campus is made by Goddard Health Services professionals, who make determinations based on public health best practices and CDC guidance.
• Is the Screening Tool programmed to provide different answers for faculty, staff, and students, or are all groups evaluated for campus return with the same methods? An email is sent to an individual who fills out the screening form and should flag someone waiting on a pending test and send an email informing them they are not cleared. Additional answer: There have been no reports to Goddard that suggest the system is not working properly. Goddard will review its process to ensure everything is in working order. Anyone waiting on pending test results should quarantine until test results are received. If at any time an individual feels a response is in error, they should reach out to Goddard directly. Sept. 2: I’m emailing you in regards to tomorrow’s OUr Safety Protest. Did you know about this protest previously and is there anything you’d like to address? Answer provided Sept. 3: Since the beginning of the pandemic, OU has made safety its top priority, enacting a range of protocols designed to create a safe environment. All decisions made are science-based and under the primary guidance of our OU Chief COVID Officer, Dr. Dale Bratzler. As we have since March, we will prioritize safety, remain responsive to the changing landscape, and communicate often with the OU community.
1. They are in their own enclosed private workspace or dorm room with no one else present.
• playing a musical instrument or singing for academic purposes, provided, however, that schools, departments, and classes may elect to require masks in class; or • for students living on campus, bathing or sleeping. 3. They are outdoors and are able to socially distance from others by 6 feet or more. If individuals are outdoors and are not able to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, an appropriate face mask must also be worn. Sept. 2: We heard from someone who tested at Goddard, filled out the Screening Tool and indicated they were waiting on test results and were asymptomatic, and they were told they were cleared to come back to campus. • Did the Screening Tool work correctly in this instance? Are those who are asymptomatic and waiting on a test being advised to return to campus before they get their results? • What about those who are symptomatic and waiting on results? • If it did work correctly, is that safe?
Goddard Health Center, similar to other clinics, collects the samples that are [turned in] and sent to reference labs [to do] the testing to find out if the sample is positive or negative. Result time is based on the lab and testing demand and supply, but normally results are available in one to two days. Aug. 27: Are those people [who have taken a PCR test and are waiting on results] instructed to isolate or do anything differently in the meantime?
Aug. 27: Please tell me in which of these scenarios OU would be notified (and subsequently report) positive tests, before the individual uses the Screening and Reporting Tool.
Individuals may remove masks only if:
• eating and drinking;
Aug. 27: How long does it take someone to receive the results of a PCR test from Goddard? Are those people instructed to isolate or do anything differently in the meantime?
While awaiting Goddard PCR testing results, individuals are encouraged to self-isolate.
Sept. 1: I just wanted to clarify something about the mask rule. If you have your own office on campus (as faculty, staff or a student employee), are you allowed to take off your mask if you’re alone in your office? We just wanted to check and see that this rule also applies to students if they have their own office.
2. They are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as:
county to provide the most reliable information to monitor community infection and is using contact tracing to advise any OU community member who is potentially impacted. The university encourages all students, regardless of whether they live on or off-campus, to notify Goddard Health if and when they test positive for COVID-19. Goddard Health Center will then be able to contact trace reported PCR positive cases affiliated with OU, in partnership with the Cleveland County Health department. Details regarding Cross’ independent tracking can be retrieved directly from Cross.
PHOTO BY RAY BAHNER/THE DAILY
Protesters in front of Evans Hall during the OUr Safety First Protest Sept. 3.
Aug. 27: Does Goddard do rapid COVID tests? If so, are the results of these tests reported to OU and reflected in OU’s reporting? Goddard administers PCR testing, which is reflective in state reporting. Aug. 27: Will students who test positive while living at Cross be accounted for in university reporting? If no, will Cross management be sharing information independently? The university recently entered into an agreement to perform functions and activities relating to contact tracing for COVID-19 on behalf of [the Oklahoma State Department of Health]. The university is utilizing testing data from Goddard Health Center and aggregate data from the
*Context: The list of scenarios was sent Aug. 27 with the above question, and remains in bold below, with Keith’s answers following in unbolded text. The scenario answers were provided Aug. 28, along with the additional statement after the scenarios. OU community members who receive a positive test from Goddard Health are tracked according to their provided address. OU community members who currently reside in Cleveland County are reported through the Cleveland County Health Department, if those individuals provide their OU Housing or Cleveland County address. Any addresses outside of Cleveland County will be tracked in their respective county health departments and may not be reflective on the OU COVID-19 Dashboard. Goddard staff encourages local addresses to be used to ensure medical communications go directly to the patient and for proper tracking and reporting. More information about the dashboard will be released tomorrow. However, one basis to go by is the University will be utilizing PCR testing data from Goddard Health Center and aggregate PCR testing data from Cleveland County. This means in all scenarios below that say ‘test at Goddard’ will be reflected on the dashboard. The state of Oklahoma only tracks and reports PCR tests- not rapid tests. This means any PCR test taken at any Cleveland County site, will also be reflected on the dashboard. Additional answers provided Aug. 28: A student who lives at Cross, tests at Goddard, and lists Cross as their address. Goddard and CCH [Cleveland County Health Department] data
A student who lives at Cross, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Goddard department
A student who lives at Cross, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not Cross) as their address. Goddard and CCH data A student who lives at Cross, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists Cross as their address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives at Cross, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not Cross) as their address.
Cleveland Co., tests at Goddard, and lists their address outside of Cleveland Co. Goddard department
A student who lives in campus housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not their dorm) as their address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives in campus housing, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Goddard department
A student who lives in campus housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists their on-campus housing address.
CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also
CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also
A student who lives at Cross, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address.
A student who lives in campus housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address.
Respective county data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also
Respective county data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also
A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at Goddard, and lists their Greek housing address.
A student who lives in Traditions, tests at Goddard, and lists their Traditions address.
Goddard and CCH data A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Goddard department
A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not Greek housing) as their address. Goddard and CCH data A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists their Greek housing address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Respective county data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives in Greek housing, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not their Greek house) as their address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives off-campus in Cleveland Co., tests at Goddard, and lists their Cleveland Co. address. Goddard and CCH data A student who lives off-campus in Cleveland Co., tests at an urgent care facility, and lists their Cleveland Co. address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives off-campus outside of
Goddard and CCH data A student who lives in Traditions, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Goddard department
A student who lives in Traditions, tests at Goddard, and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Goddard and CCH data A student who lives in Traditions, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere inside of Cleveland Co. (but not Traditions) as their address. CCH data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also A student who lives in Traditions, tests at an urgent care facility in Cleveland Co., and lists somewhere outside of Cleveland Co. as their address. Respective county data only unless did OU health screening form, then Goddard also Answers are based on if all tests referenced are PCR tests. Some responses will also fall under zip code column on dashboard. Addresses listed on Goddard testing forms are what are reported to State department. Those addresses are reported to respective counties. It would be wise to follow up with Cleveland County to see how they are reporting/receiving tests based on addresses from other testing sites. Additional answer provided Aug. 28: I want to make sure it is understood that all tests done at Goddard are reflected on the dashboard. The https://ou.edu/together/dashboard launched this afternoon has a column with several data points. The information is related to addresses for tracking and reporting to county health departments: “OU community members who receive a positive test from Goddard Health are tracked according to
their provided address. OU community members who currently reside in Cleveland County are reported through the Cleveland County Health Department, if those individuals provide their OU Housing or Cleveland County address. Any addresses outside of Cleveland County will be tracked in their respective county health departments and may not be reflective on the OU COVID-19 Dashboard. Goddard staff encourages local addresses to be used to ensure medical communications go directly to the patient and for proper tracking and reporting.” All Goddard positive test[s] are reflected on the dashboard under the Goddard Health Services sections. Positive case numbers and sevenday rolling averages for the state of Oklahoma, Cleveland County, the city of Norman and Norman’s three primary ZIP codes (73069, 73071, 73072) are also available. For example, if a student commutes to campus from Tulsa and tests positive at Goddard, that result will be reflective in Goddard data on the dashboard, but not the Cleveland County data. It will be reported to Tulsa County Health Department, [and] Tulsa is not reflected on the dashboard. Aug. 28: Will the university report cases from the Screening and Reporting Tool? Example, if I live in Tulsa and get tested in Tulsa, and report my positive result on the tool, will that be counted? And, is there any verification process for that? If a Greek student tests at Goddard and/or in Cleveland Co. using their Greek house address, will their result be reported? Yes. The dashboard will include positive results from Cleveland County Health Department and Goddard Health Center. The aggregate data listed on the dashboard will also include self-reported positive test results submitted to Goddard. Aug. 28: If Greek students and other offcampus students are being counted if they list their address within Cleveland Co., why aren’t students who list Cross as their address being counted? Cross students will be counted if they receive a positive PCR test at Goddard and/or any Cleveland County testing site. The key is Goddard Testing and PCR tests reported to Cleveland County. Aug. 28: Will off-campus students who test at Goddard or Cleveland Co. (PCR) be counted in Cleveland Co. overall data, or will their data be separated for the community to discern who is from OU? I believe most of your questions will be answered once [a] news release is issued. We can follow up if you have any questions upon receiving. Aug. 28: OU community members who test in Cleveland Co. (but not at Goddard) will be counted in Cleveland Co. general numbers, but not separately as OU community members? This is true if they test at a PCR Cleveland County site and do not self-report to Goddard. If they test at a PCR Cleveland County site and selfreport to Goddard, they will be reflected under both categories (Goddard & Cleveland County). Aug. 28: We have another question after the release of the Provost’s email a few minutes ago. In it, she says, “Students who choose to have their tests done through an off-campus source in Cleveland County will still come to
the attention of Goddard in the event that they have a positive result,” but in your last message, it says Goddard would only know if the individual self-reported to Goddard, correct? *Context: In an Aug. 28 email to faculty, Provost Jill Irvine said Goddard Health Services will still be notified of students who are tested at an off-campus location and receive a positive result. Previously, though, OU Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith said in emails to The Daily that Goddard will be notified of community members’ positive test results from off-campus Cleveland County testing sites only if they’re self-reported. I sent the Provost email to Goddard for clarification/accuracy. OU asks that all who test positive outside of Goddard Health Services self-report their results through the university’s online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool at covidreporting. ouhsc.edu. Self-reported numbers are reflected in Goddard numbers. Please contact Cleveland County Health to see if its reported data reflects self-reported numbers. Additional answer provided Aug. 28: The university is not notified of positive cases among OU-affiliated constituencies from other labs, however Goddard will receive positive case reports from the health department if [contact] tracing or investigations are required for the campus community. Additional answer provided Aug. 28 by Dr. Craig Rice, chief of medical staff, OU Health Services: • On the dashboard, the Goddard statistics are just the people who test at our lab. It does not include anyone who tests at a different facility even if they are affiliated with OU. • Everyone who lives currently in Cleveland County is reported in the Cleveland County stats, regardless of where they were tested. We report our (Goddard) data to the state and would show up in the Cleveland County data. • The “Restricted from Campus” section is based on the data from the OU online screening form data only. Aug. 28: So if students test outside Goddard and self-report, will it reflect on the Goddard dashboard? Or is that only for tests conducted at Goddard and nothing else? Answer provided Aug. 28, by Dr. Rice: Those would only show up on the bottom 2 boxes under Goddard information. • The top 2 boxes (of the dashboard) are just from the testing done here (Goddard). No outside testing or self-report [is in this section]. • The bottom 2 boxes include self-report, Goddard testing, anyone restricted through online screening form [and] outside testing. Please note the outside testing is selfreported, we don’t get reports from other labs. However, copies of those results may be required as part of the screening process. • If a person who lives outside Cleveland County tests here, their results will show up in Goddard’s data and Oklahoma’s data, but not in the Cleveland county data. • We do not get reports from the health department unless [contact] tracing or investigations need to be done by us. Those statistics are not included unless the person fills out the online screening form. _____________________________________________
Faculty, staff & finances: July 24: If a professor tests positive for COVID, will their classes be required to quarantine? All classes, including those held in lecture classrooms, will observe six-feet social distancing protocols. In addition, the University’s masking requirement will remain in place, further reducing contact and risk of transmission. Currently the Oklahoma State Department of Health defines direct contact as 15 or more minutes of direct exposure within six feet for the purposes of contact tracing; therefore, students in a classroom setting would normally not be considered within close contact and would not be required to self-isolate. Contact tracers will work to notify anyone who has had recent direct contact with a known positive case. July 24: I’ve talked with faculty who said they received an email last night saying their accommodations had been approved, but then got an email soon after saying that while their class had been approved for online instruction, they might not be the ones who teach it. Which, it would seem, would put their online teaching status in question. Could you clarify this situation? I have copied Mark Morvant, who says, the intent is that the faculty member approved will be allowed to teach in the format that they requested. The Provost office maintains there was no communication from its office or the College of Arts & Sciences that align with [what you described]. If you could provide more details the Provost office can give greater insight. July 24: In the MLLL [Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics] department, there were 50 emails that went out at about 10:30 last night saying that remote accommodations had been granted. A follow-up email sent on behalf of [MLLL Department Chair] Dylan Herrick said there were “a number of emails sent out incorrectly,” and that it was particularly true in Spanish where they have “only just been cleared to start making instructor changes again.” Per the email, “It may be that you were notified if you are currently assigned to a class that will be assigned to someone else. Please know that MLLL forwarded the requests that we received to CAS [College of Arts and Sciences], who then approved and forwarded those requests on to the Provost’s Office.” They said that though many approvals went out, there is still “a lot of work to do to get the teaching assignments right,” and that “will take a bit longer to sort out,” but that they will get to it as soon as possible. In Spanish in particular, “there are still numerous changes to the instructor assignments that we requested last spring that we are only now able to update.” Answer provided by Mark Morvant, vice provost for instruction and student success: I spoke with Dylan (Herrick, MLLL department chair) earlier today: In MLLL, there are a lot of changes in instructors and sections throughout the summer. Some of the requests had specific sections where the instructor was changed before the requests
came through for final approval. In other cases, MLLL switch[ed] instructors to sections that would have a lower impact of students who preferred an in-person course to allow for additional requests to be approved. Some of the notifications had the wrong sections. This is due to the flux in schedules in MLLL over time. Dylan understands the intent of the requests and will be aligning the faculty that was approved to a section that will be taught in the format that they requested. There will be some changes in sections, but the intent of the request to teach online or in a blended format will be maintained. Additional answer provided by Herrick: That’s right. Essentially, the schedule is still in flux, and it still needs to be adjusted in order to match the requests (and notifications). July 24: How does the cost of (at-home testing for on-campus residents) compare with the cost of testing for OU’s athletic department? A Vault saliva-based home testing kit costs OU Housing approximately $114 per test which includes costs of shipping. (Please refer to Athletics for additional information). July 24: How will the university manage situations in which there are only two professors per subject area (such as some foreign languages), and one has to quarantine? The Office of the Provost is developing instructional continuity resources to support faculty in providing uninterrupted instruction in the event something like this would occur. Instructional resources and guidance are forthcoming. July 24: If a professor tests positive for COVID and students are not required to quarantine, is it safe to put a substitute professor in a room full of exposed students? As long as the professor and students were wearing a mask in the classroom, and social distancing was practiced, the students will not be considered direct contacts and should not require isolation. Contact tracing of all students, staff, or faculty who test positive will be conducted through the state and county health departments. If a substitute instructor is necessary, this may be done in-person or remotely depending on the course and the needs of the substitute instructor. July 25: *Open Records Request*: I’d like to request all internal administrative memos and emails related to the process of granting remote accommodations for faculty and staff from June 1 to present (July 25). Specific OU emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, jill. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Date Range: June 1-present. Keywords: remote accommodation, criteria, decide/decision, faculty, staff, triage, department, committee, reopen, online teaching, request, Category A, Category B, Category C, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), risk. This record has not been received by The Daily as of Sept. 3. July 27: I’ve heard from faculty who said their accommodation requests in Categories A and B were denied at a departmental level. This is all the information I can provide, as these sources have wished to remain confidential. This would seem to dispute Interim Senior Vice
FA C U LT Y, S TA F F & F I N A N C E S
President and Provost Irvine’s email that all Category A and B requests were approved. Can you provide any clarification on this situation? My question is were these denied requests denied by the Provost office? And as recently as this week? *Context: OU’s process for staff members requesting flexibility in their work arrangement due to COVID-19 requires requests to be made in one of three categories: Category A is for those who have an increased risk of illness, Category B is for those who live with or provide care for someone with an increased risk of illness and Category C is for other situations. It is my understanding that some requests were initially denied at the departmental and College level, but when additional information was submitted (i.e. health factors) the request was approved within the guidelines of the Provost Office. Also please note, if requests were denied at any level, the faculty member can submit a request to proceed through the appeals process. July 27: In part of the Phase III [return to campus] plan, a script was given for professors to use that instructs students to move to the back of their class, not to leave, if they’re not wearing a mask. Previously, administrators have said students without masks must be asked to leave, or the class will be dismissed. Why is there a difference in policies? How strictly will masking be enforced if students won’t have to leave class if they don’t have masks? Answer provided July 29: The posted attachment was an earlier draft iteration and the policy has since evolved. The one found here (www.ou.edu/content/dam/studentconduct/ docs/Masking%20Resolution%20Process.pdf ) is accurate. Students not wearing masks will not be permitted to remain in the classroom and those unable to wear masks because of ADA accommodations will be supported appropriately by their instructor. The document has been updated to remove confusion and clarify expectations. Aug. 10: In the statement sent by you earlier about today’s protest [by OU staff members against having in-person classes in the fall], it said that furloughing OU’s highest earners wouldn’t be enough to stop laying off staff should OU go online. What are the numbers this decision is based on? Answer provided Aug. 19: In early August, the university considered the financial impact to the Norman campus should classes be moved fully online prior to the start of the semester. At that point in time, the projections showed the university would suffer losses well in excess of $150 million. Senior executives will be the first to see pay cuts and/or furloughs should that be necessary. However, potential pay cuts for senior executives obviously wouldn’t come anywhere close to filling the gap like the one we saw in early August. Therefore, additional mitigation measures would be required. OU’s extensive planning efforts these past five months for our return to in-person operations aim to safeguard the jobs for which there would be no work if we were to move fully online. Aug. 18: *Open Records Request*: I’d like to request a list of all current university employees who make over $100,000 and their corresponding salaries.
This record has not been received by The Daily as of Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. Aug. 19: How is “senior executive” defined? Senior executives are executive officers and deans on the Norman campus. Aug. 19: The Save Our Staff protest demands list tiered cuts for those making over $100,000. Is this an option, in lieu of staff layoffs, that the university has considered? The university has implemented a range of financial mitigation measures and considered others – including pay cuts – well before the protest took place. And while senior executives would be the first to see pay cuts and/or furloughs should that be necessary, those cuts obviously wouldn’t come anywhere close to filling a gap like the one we saw in early August. Therefore, additional mitigation measures would be required. Aug. 19: Would tiered cuts from all university employees making over $100,000 fill the budget gap? Answer provided Aug. 20: The university is working intently to avoid any salary cuts or furloughs to the maximum extent possible. Certainly, executive officers and deans on the Norman campus would be the first impacted but focusing only on high earners wouldn’t be sufficient to bridge the projected budget gap should we have to move to online-only instruction at this time. We are faced with a dynamic situation and the equation changes nearly every day. We will continue to remain vigilant, carefully reviewing all options and making informed decisions based upon the evolving circumstances. Aug. 19: [OU President Joseph] Harroz said in a town hall meeting this summer that if OU went fully online, staff may have to face layoffs. If OU goes fully online at some point during the semester, will staff still face those layoffs? Is there a date in which staff jobs would be safe, should the university decide to go fully online? Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: The university is working intently to avoid any layoffs to the maximum extent possible. We are faced with a dynamic situation and the equation changes nearly every day. We will continue to remain vigilant, carefully reviewing all options and making informed decisions based upon the evolving circumstances. Aug. 19: In lieu of staff layoffs, some have suggested — and other universities have enacted — a tiered pay cut for those university employees making over $100,000. Is this costsaving method in consideration, and why would or wouldn’t it work? Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: The university is working intently to avoid any salary cuts or furloughs to the maximum extent possible. In early August, the university considered the financial impact to the Norman campus should classes be moved fully online prior to the start of the semester. At that point in time, the projections showed the university would suffer losses well in excess of $150 million. Senior executives will be the first to see pay cuts and/or furloughs should that be necessary. However, potential pay cuts for senior executives obviously wouldn’t come anywhere
close to filling the gap like the one we saw in early August. Therefore, additional mitigation measures would be required. OU’s extensive planning efforts these past five months for our return to in-person operations aim to safeguard the jobs for which there would be no work if we were to move fully online. Aug. 19: How did OU manage the impact of the 3.95% cut from state appropriations? *Context: The Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education approved a 3.95 percent cut in state appropriations in its May 29 budget meeting. Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: Each year, the university makes appropriate adjustments to its budget accounting for the level of state appropriations, which has changed dramatically over the years. State appropriations fund approximately 10% of the Norman campus operating budget today, in contrast to 1982 when they accounted for 42%. This year, the cut from the state was managed through internal savings’ efforts, including debt refinancings and discretionary spend reductions across areas funded from state appropriations. Aug. 19: In your opinion, what do you think were the most financially significant decisions made by the university in regard to COVID-19? Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: Like all universities, OU has seen losses since the beginning of the pandemic including conference and event cancellations, health care costs, increased IT expenses, loss of patient revenues, and increased cleaning costs. In the wake of COVID, OU enacted financial measures including implementing a hiring freeze, halting discretionary spending, instituting travel restrictions, and deferring capital improvement projects. Aug. 19: Is there a current master list of the university’s payroll? If so, we would like to request a copy. Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: Please submit your official request to the Open Records Office. Information is below. Open Records Office, University of Oklahoma, Whitehand Hall, 339 W. Boyd St., Rm 415, Norman, OK 73069 at 405.325.0202 or firstname.lastname@example.org Aug. 19: What is the potential financial impact if OU can’t have a football season? How has the university been preparing for this scenario, and what is the financial plan if that should happen? No answer provided as of Sept. 3. Aug. 19: What are OU’s major long-term financial challenges going forward? Answer provided Aug. 30 by “several university officials”: OU faces many of the same longterm financial challenges as other flagship universities, including enrollment and pricing pressure, declining state appropriations, aging infrastructure, and maintaining competitive salary plans for faculty and staff. Despite the current challenges from COVID-19, the university is wellpositioned to address these challenges. Aug. 20: How many and which staff members would be affected from layoffs should the university go online, and would those layoffs
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completely fill the $150 million [estimated budget loss if OU moved to all online classes in the fall] hole? We are faced with a dynamic situation and the equation changes nearly every day. We will continue to remain vigilant, carefully reviewing all options and making informed decisions based upon the evolving circumstances. Aug. 24: How was the $150 million shortfall number agreed upon, and what sums make up the $150 million? What is the direct link between moving online and the $150 million shortfall? Answer provided Aug. 27: Each year, the university makes appropriate adjustments to its budget accounting for the level of state appropriations, which has changed dramatically over the years. State appropriations fund approximately 10% of the Norman campus operating budget today, in contrast to 1982 when they accounted for 42%. Since the pandemic, the financial toll on OU has been sizable. Like all universities, OU has seen losses since the beginning of the pandemic including conference and event cancellations, health care costs, increased IT expenses, loss of patient revenues, and increased cleaning costs. In early August, the university considered the financial impact to the Norman campus should classes be moved fully online prior to the start of the semester. At that point in time, the projections showed the university would suffer losses well in excess of $150 million. The factors related to the projected shortfall include, but are not limited to, not having a full football season, a possible 20% decrease in enrollment and a lack of housing, meal plans and parking revenues. _____________________________________________
July 24: Could you outline what isolation housing for students will look like? Where will students in this form of housing be required to live? What will the monitoring of these students look like? If an OU Housing resident tests positive during the semester, they will be provided an individual room to self-isolate. OU Health Services will work with students for recovery; OU Food Services will provide delivered meals; and OU Residence Life will check in with these students daily and will connect them with resources and services as needed. Rooms are designed for students to have one bedroom and one bathroom per person. July 24: If students living off-campus test positive, what will their isolation process look like? How will they be monitored? Students who live off campus will be instructed to self-isolate in their off-campus residence. Positive cases are monitored by the health department. July 24: Which part of Traditions will students that test positive for COVID-19 be housed
in? What do administrators plan to do for students that permanently live in Traditions, as students with active COVID-19 cases will be housed there? On-campus students who need to self-isolate will be provided a space in Traditions. Each of these locations have their own entry, HVAC and will be placed in temporary apartments. Assistance will be provided from OU staff. OU Health Services will work with students for recovery; OU Food Services will provide delivered meals; and OU Residence Life will check in with these students daily and will connect them with resources and services as needed. Rooms are designed for students to have one bedroom and one bathroom per person. Students assigned to these spaces will not be paired with existing residents. July 27: Which Traditions will be isolation housing for students who get sick? (East or West?) Isolation housing includes individualized spaces in Traditions East and West. July 27: Where is isolation housing for international students? Is that Traditions as well? Students living in university-owned oncampus housing will use isolation housing in Traditions. Students arriving from outside the U.S. who anticipate living in OU Housing will have to self-isolate at an off-campus site to complete the three-step process to gain move-in clearance. July 27: What is being done to ensure students don’t get sick from sharing an HVAC system with known positive COVID-19 carriers? On-campus positive students will self-isolate in Traditions. Each apartment in Traditions has an individual HVAC unit to serve only that space. July 27: If a student’s roommate tests positive, will they have to quarantine along with their roommate? Answer provided July 29: Students living in on-campus housing, who test positive, will move to individualized isolation housing units located at Traditions East or West. On-campus housing students who need to self-isolate based on contact tracing efforts will do so in individualized isolation housing units located at Traditions East or West. Aug. 23: When [students who test positive for COVID-19] are moved to OU’s isolation housing, are they given a time period to gather their things and get to their isolation housing independently, or are they escorted by university/health care personnel to their new room? Answer provided Aug. 25: Once university officials are notified of a COVID-19 positive student in OU Housing, the student gathers needed items and reports to isolation housing using their own transportation. If they do not have personal transportation, the university provides it. Once a student arrives to temporary isolation housing, their access to their permanent assigned space is deactivated for 14 days. For additional information, please visit www.ou.edu/ housingandfood/covid-19/resident_care_plan.
Aug. 27: Will the university clean the dorm rooms of students who have had to go into isolation housing? How? The student can place a work order request to have their room cleaned. After the room has been vacated for 24 hours, Facilities Management will fully disinfect the room using a combination of electrostatic and hand-held sprayers with hospitalgrade disinfectant. Aug. 27: Will the university be releasing the number of students in isolation housing? The university plans on launching a COVID-19 dashboard in the coming days. The plan is to update the dashboard daily, covering a range of aggregate data, including Cleveland County and regional area statistics, as well as Goddard Health results of COVID-19 positive cases. At this time, isolation housing numbers will not be tracked as the number of students in isolation varies and isn’t fully reflective of all students in isolation, as many are expected to choose to isolate off-campus. Aug. 27: If the university has to use hotels to house isolated/quarantined students, will guests at the hotel be notified it is being used for COVID quarantine? This is dependent on the hotel policy. Aug. 27: Will the university pay for hotel rooms for COVID-positive students? If so, how much money has the university set aside for additional isolation housing at hotels? Yes, the university will cover expenses associated with the use of any hotel to support individuals who need to be isolated after exposure to someone with COVID-19 or quarantined after testing positive for the disease. Funding will be based on contract details, which have yet to be finalized. Aug. 27: Who from OU Health Services is doing the health checks of students in isolation housing? How many times a day do they visit? How long are these visits, and what is done on these visits? Students who have tested positive and are in isolation in OU Housing are checked on daily by housing staff. Health Services personnel check for signs and symptoms of those who are being contact traced in housing. Students who have tested positive and who are in isolation in OU Housing are checked on daily and connected to resources and services as needed. OU Health Services works with students for recovery; OU Food Services provides delivered meals; and OU Residence Life checks in with these students daily for any other needs. The duration of each visit varies. Aug. 27: Who is paying for these health checks? Do students need to use their own health insurance? There is no charge or insurance required for health checks. Aug. 27: How does the university decide if a COVID-positive resident should be hospitalized or go into isolation housing? Goddard Health staff evaluate COVID-positive student residents and on a case-by-case basis
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advise students to either seek additional treatment at Goddard Health Center or refer them to the hospital, if appropriate.
Aug. 28: If a student who goes into isolation housing does not put in a work order, will the room be cleaned?
Aug. 27: What hotel will students that test positive be housed in? How many rooms in Traditions will be reserved for students that test positive?
A student must place a work order to request to have their room cleaned. Once a student arrives to temporary isolation housing, their access to their permanent assigned space is deactivated for 14 days. According to CDC guideline, if more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
OU currently has the capacity to provide isolation and quarantine housing for approximately 300 individuals with the ability to further increase capacity with outside contracted housing. Individuals who need to be isolated after exposure to someone with COVID-19 or quarantined after testing positive will be housed in isolation at an OU Housing location, or a location away from campus. Contracts have yet to be finalized for a possible hotel isolation location.
Aug. 28: What does it mean for OU Health Services to “work with students for recovery?” Does this mean they visit the students for health checks? Use telemedicine? Goddard staff works with students who are in need of medical assistance using best practices based on each individual situation, whether in-
COVID-19 related expenses, f iscal years 2020-2021 University of Oklahoma - Norman Campus
person, by phone, through Health Connection or by telehealth visits. Sept. 3: Was reaching out to follow up on a tip submitted to us/see if anyone could clarify its accuracy — we’ve heard the traditions self-isolation rooms are all full, or are nearly close to full. Was hoping you could provide an update as far as how many occupants are in the Traditions quarantine/self-isolation housing of the 300 available, and if OU had yet finalized its contracts with off-campus partners to put students in hotel rooms if needed as mentioned last week, I believe? OU Housing has established protocols to ensure residents are appropriately isolated if they test positive for COVID-19. The CDC defines isolation as the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. The CDC’s definition for quarantine is the separation and restriction of movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease. Once OU Housing is notified of a positive test, staff immediately begin preparing an isolation space at Traditions Square Apartments for the student. As the need for student isolation space has increased, OU Housing has reevaluated how it can best utilize designated isolation apartments. Isolation spaces allow for each student to have a private bedroom and bathroom. Apartments with more than one bathroom could have two COVID-19 positive individuals occupying it at the same time. At this time, isolation spaces are still open at Traditions Square Apartments. Sept. 3: Was just reaching out because [The Daily Editor-in-chief Jordan Miller] let me know we’re aiming to publish a piece tonight on OU’s policy change which allows quarantined (exposed to COVID but not positive) students to leave their quarantine spaces for certain errands. The CDC defines isolation as the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. The CDC’s definition for quarantine is the separation and restriction of movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease. The university restricts movement of asymptomatic quarantined oncampus students, unless it is for an essential need, such as food, medical care or medicine and other essential activities. No prolonged outings are permitted. Sept. 3: I had one follow up to this response when you have the time — it notes no prolonged outings are permitted, but [OU food service administrator] Stacy Lemmert’s email suggested quarantined students were allowed to grocery shop as needed. Is there any method through which OU is tracking quarantined students’ comings and goings/how long they have been gone? *Context: Stacy Lemmert sent an email Aug. 28 instructing quarantined students to leave isolation housing to get groceries and supplies. Grocery shopping refers to essential item pickup, which students are encouraged to use curbside pick-up. OU does not track its students or monitor their movements. The university urges everyone to do their part in keeping OU Together.
The chart offered as part of the response to the Aug. 10 question on page 14.
GRAPHIC PROVIDED BY KESHA KEITH
C OV I D - 1 9 I N F R A S T RU C T U R E // I N T E R N AT I O N A L S T U D E N T S
COVID-19 infrastructure: July 27: A community member brought to our attention that the hand sanitizers set up on campus contain benzalkonium chloride, which according to the CDC, has less effectiveness against coronavirus than alcohols. Why did the university choose to provide this hand sanitizer? Is the reduced effectiveness concerning to administrators? Answer provided July 29: The current sanitizer is effective, however is being updated to reflect the recent change by the CDC. In March, the University switched to the industry approved sanitizer, Benzalkonium chloride, at that time. Benzalkonium chloride has a 15-20 second usage time. The difference is alcohol-based sanitizers work in 5-10 seconds but stop working shortly after. The sanitizer currently on campus works for a more extended period. Facilities management is working to have additional alcohol-based sanitizer installed before the first day of classes. Aug. 10: Is it possible to get an itemized breakdown of university expenditures related to COVID-19 improvements? I’m referring to all of the improvements in the Clean and Green plan and Safe and Resilient plan that address COVID-19 safety. Air filters, hand sanitizers, extra buses/drivers for when school starts, signage, masks, electrostatic cleaners, and any other added expenditures the university has spent/will spend on COVID-19-specific upgrades that it wouldn’t normally spend. Answer provided Aug. 19: The attached PDF (COVID-19 Expense Tracking) is current as of August 13 and tracks actual and estimated costs to the university as a result of the pandemic. This list is dynamic and will continue to change as new COVID-19 expenses are submitted. The provided chart is shown on page 13. Aug. 18: We were notified of a tweet about OU not yet having the air sanitizers installed in housing and a lack of monitoring the movein process. Could the university provide any clarification on this situation? Synexis Sphere devices are set to be installed in every room in Adams, Couch and Walker Centers. While shipments continue to arrive, Sentry units – larger antimicrobial home systems – have been installed in the hallways and lobbies to reduce viruses, bacteria and fungi. These units can cover 2,000 square feet of space, and with each hallway and wing of rooms being just short of 4,000 square feet, the university has installed two units on each hallway. OU Facilities diligently worked to mount Synexis® Sphere brackets to ensure a quick and simple connection process as devices continue to arrive. OU Housing’s Move-In week was successful in moving in more than 4,000 students to OU’s Norman campus. Approximately 12,000 people made their way to the Norman campus last week and each were met with a move-in process that incorporated social distancing that also allowed for minimal interruptions. This was accomplished by spacing out the move-in process over several days. Also encouraging one guest, after hours, allowed for a quicker move-in process that adhered to
campus guidelines. Any disruptions brought to OU Housing staff were promptly handled. Aug. 19: Are the Sentry units that have been installed in residence halls listed under a certain category on the COVID budget list? The Sentry units are not included on the list, because there are no costs associated with them. The company sent the larger antimicrobial home systems as a courtesy as shipments of the Synexis Sphere devices continue to arrive. Aug. 27: Have all hospital-grade air filters from the Clean and Green plan been installed? Are there any buildings that did not receive air filtration upgrades? Yes, all hospital-grade air filters from the Clean and Green plan [have] been installed in spaces set to receive them. Supplemental filtration units were installed on the 2nd and 3rd floor of Farzaneh Hall due to system design. Aug. 27: Have all of the touchless toilets and faucets from the Clean and Green plan been installed? Are there any buildings that did not receive those upgrades? Yes, all of the touchless toilets and faucets from the Clean and Green plan [have] been installed in spaces set to receive them. There are a handful of household style toilets around campus that could not be upgraded. Facilities Management is researching options for these units. Aug. 27: Are there any other buildings that have not yet received COVID-related updates? No. However, Facilities Management requests any overlooked updates be communicated to its department. Aug. 28: What buildings are the household toilets that have not been upgraded in? For example, a few household style toilets can be found in the following locations/offices: Sooner Card, Landscaping and Grounds, Purchasing, Jacobson Hall, Carpenter Hall, Buchanan and Saxon Warehouse. The majority of these locations also have standard commercial toilets with automatic flush valves available for use. _____________________________________________
International students have the same access to counseling sessions through the University Counseling Center as all other students. UCC also offers an International Student Support group led by a UCC counselor where international students can meet with other international students to discuss the unique challenges of being an international student. July 27: How were [mental health] resources working for international students after the impact of COVID-19 throughout the summer? (Were they available online, did they have easy access to them?) Answer provided July 30 by Fritzen: UCC has continued counseling services to all university students, including international students, over the summer through virtual counseling sessions. UCC even extended these services to students who graduated in May who in normal times would no longer be eligible for services based on their graduation. July 27: As you already know, international students went through a lot of anxiety during summer due to COVID-19 but also due to the ICE decision, what are the plans of the International Students Taskforce regarding mental health concerns? Are they included in the plan for Fall 2020? Answer provided July 30 by Fritzen: The Task Force is connecting with Dr. Scott Miller, Director of UCC, for UCC’s plans for the fall and to discuss how to improve access to counseling for international students. July 27: One of the possibilities international students were looking at is obtaining some counseling in their mother language or the language they are more familiar with besides English. Do you know if bilingual counseling is already a service at OU or do you consider it as a good option to integrate into the plans for Fall 2020? (Please, feel free to add any thoughts you have on this question). Answer provided July 30 by Fritzen: At least one of the current UCC counselors is multilingual, but I don’t recall the languages, and UCC has access to a translation service; this is an area we would like to study for further improvement.
International students: Dining:
July 27: What are some mental health resources that international students have access to at OU?
*Context: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a policy introduced in July barring international students from remaining in the country if they have an allonline course load. The policy has since been rescinded. Answer provided July 30 by Scott Fritzen, dean of International Studies and head of OU’s International Student Response Task Force:
Aug. 25: What new policies/upgrades have been put in place to ensure employee safety at campus restaurants? Answer provided Aug. 26 by Amy Buchanan, director of marketing and communications for OU Housing and Food Services: Food Services employees are following COVID-19 policies established for all employees on campus. They are required to wear masks and gloves at work. We have provided plexiglass shields in all locations to provide an extra barrier of protection.
Aug. 25: Have campus restaurants cut back on staffing to allow for more social distancing, or can distance be achieved without changing staffing numbers? Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: There have been no staffing cuts. Changing to all staffserved options from self-served requires staffing to make this updated process work. Some staff members roles have changed as more staff are needed in the dining rooms to clean and disinfect the tables between uses. Aug. 25: Are all campus restaurant kitchens currently in use large enough for employees to socially distance? Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: Along with social distancing, masking is key. The amount of staff in the kitchen and the space allow for proper social distancing protocols to take place, but the most important policy we have is that everyone is wearing masks all the time. Aug. 25: Were employees given any specific training for new procedures due to COVID-19? If so, please describe the training and how much training employees received. Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: All OU Food Services employees receive training prior to each fall and spring semester. The new COVID-19 protocols and procedures were communicated to staff during this fall’s training. Food Services also adjusts processes as needed, and subsequently trains staff, to ensure all dining protocols are observed.
Aug. 25: How have employees responded to the changes? Has morale changed?
Aug. 25: Have any foodservice employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks?
Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: Our employees are happy to be back working and serving the OU community during this everevolving time as it relates to COVID-19.
Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: OU plans on launching a COVID-19 Dashboard in the coming days. The plan is to update the dashboard daily, covering a range of aggregate data, including Cleveland County and regional area statistics, as well as Goddard Health results. The Cleveland County Health department has partnered with the university on positive PCR cases that are identified as OU-affiliated constituencies (students, faculty, and staff ). Numbers acquired from Goddard Health PCR testing and any self-reported offcampus testing through the screening form will help produce a more accurate dashboard for tracking purposes.
Aug. 25: Were food employees given a COVID-19 test before starting work this semester? If not, why? Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: Any OU employees who also resides in OU Housing took a test before arriving on campus. In July, OU announced a mandatory three-step process for all students moving into OU Housing on the Norman campus. To gain move-in clearance, students were required to take an at-home saliva-based COVID-19 test through Vault Health, receive a negative test result, and complete OU’s online health screening form. Additionally, the university offers free testing for all students, staff, and faculty through Goddard Health Center. Any OU community member experiencing symptoms or who has reason to suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to get tested. Aug. 25: Do staff who sanitize dining areas also work in the kitchen during the same shift? Answer provided Aug. 26 by Buchanan: No, Food Services employees who work in the kitchen, preparing food, do not work in the guest sections of the dining halls cleaning and sanitizing.
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Aug. 30: Do the kitchens at Cate have air ventilation and air conditioning? I’m hearing from a student employee that there was no ventilation and no air conditioning in the summer? Answer provided Aug. 31 by Buchanan: Yes, as with other areas, the kitchens in Cate Restaurants have air conditioning and ventilation. Aug. 30: Why do students who work in the union not get a 20 minute break every 5 hours, but students in Cate or Couch do? (Again from a student employee source) Answer provided Aug. 31 by Buchanan: OU Food Services abide by Oklahoma Labor Laws, which include providing break times.
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